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M E Stern, H F Edelhauser, H J Pederson, W D Staatz; Effects of ionophores X537a and A23187 and calcium-free medium on corneal endothelial morphology.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1981;20(4):497-508. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Past studies have shown that apical junctional complexes (AJCs) of corneal endothelial cells break down in the presence of a Ca++-free medium. The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of Ca++ ionophores to maintain the AJCs in the Ca++-free media in both isolated perfused corneas and cultured endothelial cells. In addition, the ability of disintegrated AJCs to re-form when the endothelium is returned to a medium containing calcium ws also examined. Rabbit corneas were mounted in an in vitro specular microscope and perfused with a Ca++-free medium, or a Ca++-free medium containing 10(-5)M X537A or A23187 calcium ionophore. Also, confluent monolayer cultures of bovine corneal endothelial cells were placed in a Ca++-free medium or a Ca++-free medium containing 10(-5)M X537A or A23187 Ca++ ionophore and incubated for selected time periods. When junctional breakdown occurred, one cornea or culture plate was fixed for scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), and the other was returned to a medium containing Ca++ and subsequently fixed for SEM and TEM. Both isolated perfused and cultured corneal endothelial cell AJCs exhibited marked disintegration in the presence of Ca++-free medium. The presence of an ionophore in the medium cultured cells. When returned to a medium containing Ca++, the corneas that had been perfused with Ca++-free medium containing an ionophore re-formed the junctions sooner than did those that had been perfused with a Ca++-free medium alone. These results suggests that the ionophores may be capable of mobilizing intracellular calcium to protect the AJCs.
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